Latest News

Membership of Broadwindsor Community Pub Ltd

Thanks to those who have donated to our Save The White Lion campaign. 

If you’ve given at least £5 and would like to become a member of Broadwindsor Community Pub Ltd but haven’t yet filled in an application form, you can do so online here.

Alternatively, you can pick up a hard copy either from Broadwindsor Community Stores or from the Comrades Arms.

Becoming a member enables you to attend our Annual General Meeting, ask questions and gives you a vote.

We're on the Telly

Thank you to BBC Spotlight reporter Anna Varle and cameraman Chris for coming over to film us this week. Anna spoke to Pip Cadwell, David Leader, Peter Roe, Kyle Napier and Margery Hookings to find out more about the project and why we’re so happy to be getting our pub back. They also filmed Donna Heys painting the latest total on to our Yard of Ale thermometer.

You can watch the Spotlight footage here via the village website, broadwindsor.org – the first one is the lunchtime programme on 25 January 2022 and the second one is from the evening edition.

We've Done It!



You’ve done it!

On 22 January 2022, our Crowdfunder Crowd raised the £30,0000 we needed to get The White Lion at Broadwindsor up and running as a community pub.

It’s fantastic news – a real testament to the power of a close-knit, caring community in which good things happen.

If all goes according to plan, we hope to open the doors of The White Lion well in time for Easter.

Additional money raised above the £30,000 target will help with additional working capital and give us a good start on sprucing up the courtyard garden in time for the summer season.

In the meantime, take a collective bow. Thank you to all of you. You’re phenomenal! 

Here's to Opening Again Soon

As we near our target of £30,000, it’s exciting to think that the White Lion doors will be opening again soon – but this time as a community pub, run by the community for the community.

We want the White Lion at Broadwindsor to be the beating heart of our vibrant village. Where you’ll be welcomed with a smile and leave with a warm feeling that’ll make you want to come back again and again.

Thank you to the Crowdfunder ‘Crowd’ for your fantastic support! It shows just how much our pub means to this community.

Meeting the target will enable us to refurbish the pub inside, kit out the kitchen and provide some working capital.

Once opened, the White Lion at Broadwindsor will need to keep on roaring.

As well as being a great place to eat, drink and socialise, the community pub will be a meeting place for all sorts of activities and events. Some of these activities may need subsidising to get them going. And we’ll also need money to refurbish the courtyard garden, to make the most of the summer months.

Thanks to you, our community pub is going to be something very special.

Any additional money raised above and beyond our £30,000 Crowdfunder target will be put with grant funding and other donations to help us make the White Lion at Broadwindsor a community pub like no other.

We're on Film!

This promotional video was kindly made for us for free by David Rose from Dorset Videos. He heard about our campaign and offered his support.

David is a Dorset-based video maker focusing on rural businesses, culture and life. Before moving to Dorset he worked in London making trailers and branding for a wide range of TV stations including Discovery Channel, Sky and Channel 4. 

Thank you to our lovely villagers who turned out in force for the video shoot.

The only way is Up

We’re thrilled that Power to Change Community Business Crowdmatch have pumped another £5,000 into our Crowdfunder appeal. The charitable trust, created in 2015 in England from a £150 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund, have recognised that The Save The White Lion project will make an enormous difference to the local community and are happy to offer their financial support to get us closer to our target. 

The pressure is now on to redouble our efforts to meet our target. Keep up the good work everyone! We can do this! 

What the papers Say

We’re delighted to see on the news stands in our community shop, Broadwindsor Community Stores, that the village is headline news in our local paper, The Bridport and Lyme Regis News, for all the right reasons.

Our Crowdfunder appeal is pushing people’s buttons and we want to keep up the momentum. Thanks so much to everyone who has already donated and those who are planning on doing so. It all makes such a difference.

On the same day that news of the campaign was published in the local paper, the story was picked up by The Mail Online. You can read it here

Keep on spreading The White Lion love and be a part of our pride!

On your radio...

Our steering group chairman, David Leader, has been telling listeners to Steve Harris’s Dorset breakfast show on BBC Radio Solent all about the campaign to save the White Lion. You can hear his interviews here:

The Appeal Goes Live...

More than 80 people came along to Comrades Hall in the village, with another 50 on Zoom, on 12 January 2022, to hear steering group chairman David Leader outline the campaign. 

It was a terrific show of public support for our vision to reopen the White Lion as a community pub.

The Crowdfunder appeal is now LIVE.  Please give what you can. Every little helps – if we don’t reach our £30,000 target, the pub could be closed forever.

Help us Fill Up Our Yard of Ale!

You can follow our fundraising milestones on a specially-created Yard of Ale in Broadwindsor Square. Created by Donna Heys, the gauge was installed by her husband, John Heys, and steering group member Chris Edgerley.

Update 7th January 2022

The White Lion Steering Group met by video call on Monday 3 January to discuss preparations for the public meeting at Comrades Hall, Broadwindsor, on Tuesday 11 January at 7pm.

This is the meeting at which members of the public will be asked to support the fundraising campaign to raise the £30,000 needed for the village to take over the White Lion as a tenant and operate it as a community pub.

The deal negotiated with Palmers Brewery represents the best chance the village has for the pub to be refurbished and reopened in spring 2022. The steering group believes that community management is the only way the pub can survive. A village pub at the heart of the community benefits everyone, not just pub goers. It helps to keep the community together, provides a social hub and impacts on property prices.

The steering group comprises David Leader (chair), Susanna Newall, Sandra Burrows, Charles Ouin, Luke Pickering, Andrew Hookings, Chris Newall, Elaine Leader, Margery Hookings, Fraser Hughes, Chris Edgerley and Rick Dyke. The following is a summary of the meeting on 3 January, excluding commercially sensitive or personal information:

·       A flyer will be delivered to Broadwindsor households, with supporting information on the websites: savethewhitelion.org, broadwindsor.org and Broadwindsor Group Parish Council at broadwindsorgroup.gov.uk

·       The steering group will deliver meeting invitations to households by the end of this weekend (8-9 January). This will be followed up by personal visits to households to those not at the meeting on 11 January.

·       Supporting information will comprise a summary of the project and its history, the steering group vision and the benefits to the community, securing the White Lion’s future and Business Plan forecast, a membership form, legal structure and explanation of funding sources – which could include Crowdfunding if match funding is available.

·       It is hoped a video link can be set up and publicised for those who can’t get to the meeting in person or if covid regulations prevent large numbers attending.

·       It was agreed that membership of Broadwindsor Community Pub, which gives members a right to the attend the AGM and vote and to ask questions of the management team, will be £5. This is the same as Broadwindsor Community Stores. However, the community needs to raise a minimum of £30,000 through donations to enable the steering group to sign the tenancy with Palmers.

·       The fundraising campaign will take place over a four-week period from Jan 11 – Feb 8 2022.  The steering group will sign the tenancy with Palmers Brewery on 17 February only if the necessary target has been reached. Then refurbishment can take place and a manager appointed. Discussions about potential manager are ongoing.

·       Local businesses are being approached to support the community pub project. The Comrades Arms has already raised £3,000 for the project. A banner will be put up on the hedge at Bernards’ Place to highlight the fundraising campaign, alongside a Yard of Ale ‘thermometer’ so everyone can see how much we still need to raise.

·       Hard copies of the Business Plan will be available at The Comrades Arms / shop / post office and be available online. A limited number will be available for inspection at the public meeting on 11 January.

News Update 23rd December 2021

We are very pleased to say that the Broadwindsor Community Pub is now a legal business. The articles of the business make it clear that this is a community pub run for the benefit of the community and is a not-for-profit organisation.

No business can start without funds and we need to raise about £30,000 quickly to carry out essential refurbishment, buy equipment mainly for the kitchen, purchase stock and pay the wages of employees.

Opening the White Lion is going to be a challenge for us all but we believe that we can make it happen. Those wonderful evenings where the community comes together in convivial surroundings with conversation and laughter can happen again.

There will be a public meeting on Tuesday 11 January at 7pm where we can explain our plans, answer questions and listen to suggestions.

We hope to hold this meeting at the Comrades Hall but if this is not allowed because of the Covid situation we will try to hold it on Zoom. We hope that as many people as possible will attend. Please look out for updated information.

The steering group would like to thank all those who have shown such an enthusiastic interest in saving the White Lion.

News Roundup - 24th November 2021

Work is going on behind the scenes to re-open the White Lion at Broadwindsor as a community pub.

A steering group is meeting regularly to move the project forward. It comprises David Leader (chair), Susanna Newall, Sandra Burrows, Charles Ouin, Luke Pickering, Andrew Hookings, Chris Newall, John Heys, Margery Hookings, Fraser Hughes and Chris Edgerley.

Between them, group members have a wide range of skills and experience. We believe that securing the right deal with Palmers represents the best – and only – chance for the White Lion to re-open at the heart of our community. We want it to happen, and we know the community does too. We need to raise at least £30,000 to make it a reality.

Agreement with Palmers has been reached but not yet signed. We can’t tell you all that’s been happening because some of the detail is commercially sensitive. However, it’s our intention to publicise a summary of our meetings to keep you updated as best we can.

Save the White Lion, summary of meeting 18/11/21

Community Benefit Society application – because of changed criteria, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) turned down our application.  It is not worth us appealing due to time, money and the FCA is unlikely to back down so we now need a new legal structure.  This is likely to be a Community Interest Company. Investigations and communication continue. [This means the community pub is not likely to open until early 2022.]

Applicants we are in contact with two sets of people who have applied to run the pub.

Business plan – This continues to be updated. Cash flow in the first year will depend on the starting date.

Grants and fundraising:

  • It was hoped to hold two fundraising events before Christmas but these have been put on hold because of high covid rates locally. Local musicians are planning to stage a gig on Saturday 15 January 2022 at Comrades Hall in aid of the Save the White Lion fund, for which the committee is very grateful. Committee members will be on hand to run the bar and man the door.
  • There has been a gradual decline in numbers at Comrades Arms, possibly because of covid, but the pop-up bar continues to raise money for the community pub campaign. [£1,750 so far.]
  • Grant-making bodies need to know our legal structure before we can proceed with grant applications.
  • We will need a public meeting to seek funding from the community. A certain amount of detail about the plans will be within the prospectus, along with display boards. The date of this meeting and the way forward hinges on the outcome of discussions about the legal structure of the community business.
  • A Christmas card featuring an adaptation of John Iveson’s painting of the White Lion will be available for sale in packs of five for £2.50. These will be on sale at the shop.  An initial print run of 500 was agreed.

Refurbishment

There has been a constructive meeting with Palmers. Builders have been working recently on behalf of the brewery at the back of the pub.  

Banner – Chris E has made enquiries re a large banner which will be purchased and placed in a prominent position once we go back to the community at a public meeting.

Tree lights in the Square – Palmers have agreed to a Christmas tree above the pub door.

Next meeting – the next meeting will be held once we have an update on the new legal structure to take the project forward.

 

Save the White Lion, summary of meeting 6/10/21

Community Benefit Society application – due to be incorporated within next 3 weeks. Share issue put to community (like the village did for the shop).

Business plan – final version almost ready. All payments need to be made by end of year 3.

Funding – seeking grant from Broadwindsor Group Parish Council. Applications to grant funding bodies identified as most likely to support project. Comrades Arms trading well, taking £1,200 in first four days. Two villagers planning two events in aid of Save the White Lion, in addition to regular discos where bar takings will go to pub fund. More details soon.

Yard of ale fundraising ‘thermometer’ to be placed in the Square.

Bank account – can be started only when we are a Community Benefit Society. 

 

Job advert for manager/chef – not much response yet. Exploring other outlets.

 

Logo – new logo in consultation with Palmers. Original pub sign (pre-dating existing one) by George Biles will be displayed internally.

Refurbishment – ongoing discussions on updating interior and adapting layout for ambience, efficiency and increased number of covers. Kitchen left sparkly clean by Spike and Vikki. Now to cost kitchen equipment etc for business plan.

Timeline – end of October/early November – approach community on share issue.

Christmas/New Year – hope to be open.

Facelift for The White Lion

The White Lion is a hive of activity this week as a team from Palmers Brewery team give the pub an exterior facelift.

Doors, windows and fascia boards are being rubbed down and painted in preparation for the day when the pub reopens its doors. 

Steering group chairman David Leader said: ‘It’s fantastic to see that Palmers are investing in the White Lion. All the outside woodwork is being cleaned, prepared and repainted. This will make a huge difference to the appearance of such a beautiful historic building which sits at the heart of our community. We are very grateful to Palmers.’

Yesterday (Tuesday 5 October), previous landlords Spike and Vikki handed in their keys as their tenancy came to an end and said a final goodbye to the place that was their home for nearly four years.

Through social media, Vikki said: ‘Thank you all for your support and wish you well for the future x.’

The couple are now running The New Inn at Blagdon on the Mendips.

Meanwhile, the Save The White Lion steering group is working hard behind the scenes to re-open and run the White Lion as a community pub.

Grant applications to various funding bodies are being submitted and a share issue is being prepared to be offered to villagers. More details soon – watch this space! 

We're Hiring!

Could you run The White Lion at Broadwindsor?

Would you like to be at the heart of a truly special Community Pub Project in the beautiful place that is Dorset?

Applications are now open for a manager or management team.  

You can read more about this exciting opportunity and apply here

What can you expect at The Comrades Arms?

You can expect a warm and cheery welcome, friendship and prices that won’t hurt your wallet.

Yes, the Comrades Arms is opening again on 1 October – and, this time, raising money to save the White Lion.
Back in 2017, when the pub was closed between landlords, the Comrades Arms in the Lewesdon Room raised a fair few pennies for the Comrades Hall – almost £2,000 in four weeks.  And the bar was back for the World Cup in 2018 when villagers enjoyed football matches on the big screen.
So it seems only natural to open up the Comrades Arms to tide us all over until the White Lion roars once more.

It’s a place where locals can get together for a chinwag, a laugh and put the world to rights while enjoying a glass or two or real ale, fine wines and a range of shorts and soft drinks.

Organiser Andrew Hookings, who is assembling a team of volunteers to help run the sessions on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday lunchtimes, will be launching the £3 Club.

He says: “Customers will be able to drink from a range of beers, lagers and ciders at £3 a pint or a can, from a range of wines at £3 a glass or shorts and mixers for £3.’

And as the winner of the Comrades Arms pool competition in 2017, he’s looking forward to organising another competition and defending his trophy.

Fish and chips from Nat’s van on Tuesdays, regular quizzes and themed food nights look set to be a winning combination.
The team of volunteers is looking forward to welcoming customers with open arms at the Comrades Arms from Friday 1 October at 6pm.

Says Andrew: ‘It’s about friendship and community.’

 

One Happy Customer

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